Mayor, neighbor request more landscaping barriers in club plan | Pepper Pike
PEPPER PIKE – Cole Gagnon, head of HR at OKW Architects, appeared before the planning and zoning committee to provide an update on a site development plan for the country club. The commission approved the site development plan, but Mayor Richard Bain and a neighbor on Lander Road requested an additional landscaping review on another part of the property.
At a March 1 meeting, Ms. Gagnon said the club plans to relocate and upgrade the paddleball warm house and four paddle courts, as well as provide two new pickleball courts. This would create a racket facility near the existing tennis courts on the southern edge of the property. The one-story building will have a pitched roof similar to the clubhouse.
There will be an area for a gas fire and seating between the racket building and the existing tennis courts. 34 additional parking spaces are available to the west of the club. An arborist recommended removing two clusters of trees and several trees along the southern property line. Ms. Gagnon said there will be low shrubs and perennials around the building and courts.
Mayor Bain said residents have noticed less landscaping along Lander Road lately and urged the club to include more plantings as there are plans to add trees to the property as part of this site development plan.
“The country club has always been a nice element in the town of Pepper Pike. It has always been considered very classic in its architecture and the way the grounds were maintained. It was very much appreciated in the community, ”Mayor Bain said on Monday. “There has been a lot of distress that I’ve heard of in the community, especially regarding tree removal around the parking lot that we talked about earlier.”
He said the vegetation helped hide the parking lot from passers-by on lander and checked the commercial operations that are adjacent to a residential area. Mayor Bain said parishioners were upset about the removal of trees but understood that it may have been due to recent storm damage.
“But I just want to impress the club that while they obviously exist for the sake of their membership, they also exist as a member of the community that I know they are aware of and are sensitive to,” he said. “To the extent that larger diameter trees and more robust vegetation can be planted in and around places like this parking lot, I would appreciate it and build goodwill in the community.”
The country club’s general manager Eli Edgerly said the club shares the same goals and wants community members to enjoy its beauty. He said some bushes along Lander were cut back and trees removed along the main entrance road due to storm damage, which he called an “eyesore”. There is currently a pile of earth blocking the view of the parking lot and there are plans to add spruce trees to create a barrier, Edgerly said.
Gunes Raack of Lander Road said she has lived across from the club for 10 years. She said she was happy to hear the club was adding new plantings, but noted frustration with bushes being removed in front of the parking lot causing light pollution in her home.
Mr. Edgerly said the club doesn’t want to be a “nuisance” to its neighbors. Mayor Bain said he is looking for a commitment from the club to plant more vegetation in the parking lot. City planner George Smerigan said trees were too tall to block car headlights, so shrubs would be ideal.
“I would love to plant shrubs in this room if that would solve the parking lot lighting problem,” Edgerly said. “I want to support what our neighbor’s complaint is here.”
He said the club plans to add more trees and vegetation along the driveway and on landers.